Welcome to Breed Basics where each week we will highlight a breed of dog to assist clients in finding the canine companion best suited to their lifestyle. We encourage potential pet owners to responsibly research dog breeds prior to purchase or adoption. If there is a breed you are considering, or are simply curious about, and would like our assistance in your research, please let us know, we would be happy to help!
This week’s featured breed – American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terriers were originally developed during the 19th century by breeding bulldogs with terriers. They were bred to be farm dogs, but due to their strength and tenacity, many people started using them as bait dogs for bulls and bears. When this activity was deemed inhumane, American Pit Bull Terriers began to be used as fighting dogs, which is where they got the bad reputation that plagues them today. They are a generally healthy breed, but can be prone to hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts, congenital heart disease, and allergies, especially to grass. Their height and weight does vary from dog to dog, but they should be about 18 – 22 inches and 22 – 110 pounds. American Pit Bull Terriers were bred to be smaller and muscular so that they could fight well. The bigger, more powerful American Pit Bull Terriers may, in fact, have been crossed with other breeds in their past. They do need exercise everyday, but can be kept in an apartment, if taken on walks daily. They are a great family dog and love children, but may not be good with other dogs unless they have been raised with that dog. American Pit Bull Terriers are muscular and have a strong guardian instinct, so training is a must with them. They must know that they can rely on their owners so that they do not try to become the leader of the pack and become aggressive. With the right training, however, American Pit Bull Terriers make an excellent family pet!
Ask us at Animal Central for more information on American Pit Bull Terriers or visit: www.dogbreedinfo.com/americanpitbull.htm
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM and Staff